Racing Insights

Racing Insights, Friday 01/07/22

Friday's free feature is the splendid Horses for Courses (H4C) report which, as you've probably guessed, shows the full course history since 2009 of any horse running that has previously had a run at that track, sorted by number of wins, but this can be changed to any column at your discretion. In addition to today’s race time, course, horse name, jockey and trainer name, there is a breakdown of runs, wins and places, and profit and loss calculations for both win and each way betting. And as with all Geegeez reports, there is a ‘Today’ and a ‘Tomorrow’ (for the next day’s racing) view.

HINT: Layers might like to look towards the lower end of the report, for those with negative performance at the track.

[Please refer to our User Guide for further information]

My settings for the H4C report have generated two horses of interest...

and I'll be considering those as well as consulting the daily list of fully functional free racecards below...

  • 2.30 Newton Abbot
  • 4.05 Sandown
  • 4.50 Newton Abbot
  • 5.00 Doncaster
  • 7.15 Wexford
  • 8.00 Bellewstown

There's a good card on at Sandown, but I'm going to take a break from full race profiling, which has been tough this week, and use my time with you to assess my two possibles from the H4C report, starting with Jawwaal, who runs in the 3.20 Doncaster, a 10-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ flat handicap over a straight 5f on good ground...

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As you can see, he's not been in the best form of late, his yard is a bit short on recent winners (just 1/31 in the last fortnight) and he steps up in trip. He has won over course and distance and was last seen 19 days ago. And that's all you get if you pick your horses from a newspaper, not much there that would send me to the bookies, if I'm honest.

However, we have more to discuss about this horse who has won 3 from 4 over course and distance, including this very race last year off a mark 2lbs higher than today. He was raised to a mark of 99 after that win and has failed to trouble the judges in seven races since, but has now dropped to an attractive rating of 92 and that might just be enough to get him going along with a return to favoured conditions, as his record of 6 wins from 34 starts includes...

  • 5 wins on Good or Good to Firm ground
  • 5 within 30 days of his last run
  • 5 on a straight run
  • 4 in handicaps
  • 4 over 5f
  • 4 in fields of less than 11 runners
  • 4 in June/July
  • 3 at Doncaster, all over course and distance
  • and 2 at Class 2...

...much of this is set out in Instant Expert, of course...

He's drawn out in stall 8 of 10 and this hasn't really been a happy hunting ground here on Town Moor over the minimum trip...

...meaning he's going have to work hard to get involved over this quick 5f. Thankfully, horses with any pace profile can win here, although leaders & hold-up horses don't fare as well as prominent/mid-div runners...

...which will make life even tougher for Jawwaal, who is generally waited with...

...and his high draw/hold-up combination could be better...

...but it could easily be worse. Mid-drawn leaders are the best on this chart, but 14.29% is hardly dominant and even though Jawwaal doesn't look that well positioned 9.30 is actually 65% of 14.29. so it could be worse!

*

Later on Friday evening, we'll see Hyperfocus tackle the 6.38 Haydock, a 13-runner, Class 4, 4yo+ flat handicap over a straight 6f on soft ground...

He hasn't won in his last five outings, but has been running well enough to make the frame in three of his last four going down by just half a length, a neck and a short head in those three defeats, so he's certainly knocking on the door. He was possibly unsuited by the draw last time at Chester when having to race from stall 11 of 11, which is never great on the Roodee, but managed to have the lead approaching the post, but the extra effort/distance to get to the front took its toll and he was collared by a lighter and much better drawn rival late on.

Since winning at Ripon at Class 3 over 6f in June 2019, he has, however, only won once in 25 starts and that was here over course and distance in a Class 2 contest 22 months and 11 races ago, although he has taken advantage of a falling mark of late. That said, he has managed to make the frame in 14 of his 41 (34.15%) starts on turf and those include of relevance here...

  • 5 wins, 8 places from 36 on a straight run
  • 5 wins, 6 places from 17 at odds of 8/1 or shorter
  • 4 wins, 8 places from 33 over 6f
  • 3 wins, 1 place from 6 here at Haydock (all over 6f)
  • 2 wins, 5 places from 9 on soft ground
  • 1 win, 6 places from 13 under today's jockey

and some of these stats are verified in Instant Expert below...

...which also shows that he's running off a mark a pound lower than his last win. That said, if he's going to break his cold spell here, he's going to have to do it from the car park, as he has been berthed far out in stall 13 of 13 and high draws haven't fared as well as those drawn inside, but they do have a good place strike rate...

In fact in the above races, runners drawn higher than stall 10 have only won 2 of 43, so much will depend on how he approaches the race. You can win these soft ground sprints at Haydock via any running style, but the general advice is to either go at it hard and try to hold on or let the rest go hard and you catch them all late on, but even the worst performing mid-division runners have an IV of 0.82, which isn't horrendous as fourth best...

Given the choice, though, you'd want one who blasts out and tries to stay out and recently that seems to be what Hyperfocus has tried to do...

...although the pace/draw heat map suggests he should bide his time from out wide, but you could argue that he's only the width of four horses away from having the perfect pace/draw make-up...

How wide are four stalls? Should it make that much difference? Time will tell.

Summary

At Doncaster, the bookies have Jawwaal as joint second favourite at 5/1, but I had him as a mid-division finisher at best here and as such 5/1 doesn't really interest me. I can't see much beating the 3/1 fav Get It, who might actually represent some value at that price. As for one outrunning his odds, Venturous might well be better than a 16/1 shot, especially taking an E/W chance with a bookie paying four places.

At Haydock, I do actually like Hyperfocus, but I really don't like him being as short as 5/2 in most places, even Bet365's 7/2 looks skinny about a horse who has lost the winning habit. I get that he's now well weighted and on familiar ground, but 1 win in 25 does not a 5/2 fav in a 13-runner race make! I think he'll go well, but I can't back at that price. Elsewhere Abu Malek might be a good bet at 11/2.

 

 

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